Monday, December 19, 2011
Christmas Cranberry Nut Bread
For some reason I've found it hard to get into the Christmas "groove". I consider Christmas to be a serene although festive time to reflect on the past year, spend time with family and bake. Maybe that's boring to some, but I can't seem to get into the whole "shopping frenzy". I don't like to shop during the year...why would I want to do it now?! Is Christmas really about shopping and presents? I don't think so! Am I the only one who feels this way? Can't we be kind and cherish one another without gifts?
This week I'm beginning to bake. That's what I tend to do when I feel the stress creeping in. Last week's goodies were just practice, with molasses spice cookies and fruited truffles. Traditionally, I've made pumpkin bread to wrap and give out and assorted cookies. A few years ago a friend of mine made this, so I thought I'd try it. This cranberry nut bread has a few redeeming factors, that is, healthy ingredients. Just close your eyes as you pour in the 1 cup of sugar. (Then it doesn't count, right?) The orange juice, cranberries and nuts will counteract that sugar indulgence!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp grated or zested orange peel
2 tbsp shortening
1 beaten egg
1 1/2 cups cranberries, frozen or fresh, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl add the dry ingredients, stir then add the orange juice, peel, shortening and egg. Blend it well, and stir in the cranberries and nuts. Pour into a greased loaf pan (or 3 mini loaf pans) Bake for 55 minutes (or about 45 for the minis) or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool and remove from pan. Wrap as gifts or have them ready for guests. These should also freeze well. Enjoy!